Telecommunications and call centers receive high-volume calls every single day. Call center agents have to be engaged most of the time, responding to customer calls and solving their queries.

To ease this hectic job of agents, Automatic Number Identification (ANI) comes in handy, helping to optimize the call-handling processes in call centers. With the help of this tool, call center agents can recognize who is calling before even picking up the call.

Apart from that, it has other perks too, which we will discover here. In this article, we’ll be going through the ins and outs of Automatic Number Identification. So, without any further ado, let’s get started!

What is Automatic Number Identification (ANI)?

What is Automatic Number Identification (ANI)

Automatic Number Identification (ANI) is a telephony service that displays the phone number of the calling person to the receiver before picking up the call. This technology automatically grabs and spots the phone number of the caller.

The call center uses it to manage incoming calls and to route calls to suitable agents. When inbound calls arrive, the phone number and customer information automatically appear on the agent’s screen.

This way, agents can identify who is calling, which makes them better prepared to greet customers or solve their queries. 

With the implementation of ANI, call centers can identify callers from miles away and provide them with personalized customer service, enhancing customer satisfaction.

How does Automatic Number Identification (ANI) work?

While making a telephone call, Automatic Number Identification (ANI) information is transferred to the recipient through digital signals. 

When the signal reaches the destination or a receiver, it is already in decoded form, so the receiver gets the calling party’s telephone number.

Let’s understand the working process in much more depth. Firstly, ‘Person A’ dials a call to ‘Person B’. Person A’s telephone sends a digital signal (with the caller’s information) to the nearly-located cell phone tower. 

As mentioned earlier, this digital signal includes all the details of Person A. The cell phone tower then passes this information-carrying signal to Person B’s phone company.

Additionally, Person B’s phone company extracts the ANI information to show Person A’s telephone number. 

Lastly, the ANI information, including Person A’s telephone number or other extra information, is revealed to Person B. Person B then knows the caller and can decide whether to redirect the call or continue the conversation. 

This process happens behind the scenes and in quick succession so that the call flow remains smooth throughout. 

How is ANI used in contact centers?

Automatic Number Identification (ANI) is used in contact centers to enhance the customer experience. It goes beyond the display of telephone numbers on the call center agent’s screen. Here are some of its uses in the contact centers:

  • Recognizing Caller: With the help of ANI, contact centers can recognize who is calling before receiving the call. 
  • Routing Call: Automatic Number Identification is helpful for displaying the telephone number of the calling person. Also, it is useful for routing the calls to the right agent or department. Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) is the technology used by contact centers to route calls.
  • Customer Segmentation: ANI information is helpful for contact centers to segment customers. Contact centers can divide customers according to their phone numbers for contact management. This way, contact centers provide a more personalized customer experience.
  • Call Tracking and Analytics: ANI information is also crucial to understand the call center’s performance. They can produce reports, track call history, and get to know the performance of agents or teams.

Benefits of ANI for Contact Centers

Benefits of ANI for Contact Centers

Automatic Number Identification (ANI) is a technology that helps contact centers meet the demanding high volume of calls and enhance customer experience. Here are some of the benefits of ANI:

1. Early identification of the caller

Automatic Number Identification (ANI) can identify the caller’s telephone number before answering the call. It is similar to the calling ID as both display the caller’s telephone number to the receiver of the call.

The differences lie in its working mechanism and the hidden technology. 

2. Efficient call routing

After identification and recognition of the phone number, the respective contact center can use that data to route calls. 

Call routing is done so that the caller can connect to the agent or department with the skills to handle those needs. Here, the incoming calls are redirected to the right agent whenever a customer calls. As a result, it enhances customer experience.

3. More personalized customer experience

Cloud contact centers can use Automatic Number Identification (ANI) to collect the caller’s information; this way, agents are well-prepared ahead of answering the call with proper greetings and resolving their queries instantly.

Automatic Number Identification (ANI) is also helpful for accessing customer’s past calls and history. Based on that data, call center agents can provide personalized customer service.

4. Reduces fraud risk

Scammers usually try to gather sensitive information by making calls from unknown or unauthorized phone numbers. Automatic Number Identification (ANI) is highly secure and robust because it is separately transmitted in the form of signals.

Therefore, it is tough to spoof or block compared to the caller ID. Hence, contact centers can use ANI to safeguard sensitive information and better minimize the risk of fraud.

5. Better call handling

Automatic Number Identification (ANI) is more suited to businesses and organizations rather than for individual purposes. Businesses or organizations face a high volume of calls; therefore, an efficient call-handling approach is needed.

ANI automates some parts of call handling. For example, calls from prominent personalities can be prioritized higher in the queue, allowing a quicker and more detailed reply.

6. Minimizes call abandonment ratio

With ANI, inbound calls are always directed to the right agent, and that too, in a matter of seconds. This way, callers don’t have to wait for longer durations, so the chances of abandoning the call are low.

7. Lowers agent’s workload

Incoming calls are headed to the agents rapidly, and the customer’s information is attached. It ensures the agents can handle calls more effectively and simplify their jobs.

Conclusion

Automatic Number Identification (ANI) is for billing purposes and is mainly used by telecommunications providers, global offices, and contact centers. Its primary function is to identify and display the caller’s phone number to the receiver before picking up the call.

It has numerous other features, like call routing, call handling, reducing call abandonment rates, call analytics, etc. Hence, it is more than just showcasing the caller’s info and account information. 

Overall, it allows contact centers to boost the team’s efficiency, optimize the call flow, and, even more significantly, improve customer satisfaction.

FAQs

What is automatic number identification?

ANI displays the caller’s phone number of the calling person to the recipient before answering the call.

What is phone number identification?

Phone number identification is gathering information about a phone number with the help of a 10-digit unique number.

What is the difference between ANI and CLI?

Automatic Number Identification (ANI) and Call Line Identity (CLI) serve the same purpose. However, the critical difference is the underlying technology and the working mechanism. ANI is ideal for more prominent organizations, whereas CLI is for personal use.

What is ANI used for?

Call centers use ANI to identify the caller, route calls to the right agent, provide personalized customer experience, and eliminate call abandonment issues. Overall, it streamlines the call flow and enhances customer experience in the contact centers.

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